Administrative Rules and Procedures to Implement Policy 606.02
Objections to Instructional Material
Any student, parent/guardian, resident or employee of the school district (hereinafter referred to as the complainant) may formally challenge instructional materials used in the district’s educational program on the basis of appropriateness. The procedure for the reconsideration of instructional materials used in the curriculum of the Elkhorn Public Schools is as follows: The challenged material will remain in use until a final decision is rendered. At any time in this process where appropriate forms are not filed or appropriate steps are not followed the objection is voided.
1. The initial complaint (concern/question) should be directed to the classroom teacher and a conference held with the teacher, complainant and principal to discuss the situation. At this conference, the classroom teacher and/or principal shall explain the material being used in light of relevant school district philosophy and state rules and regulations, relevant Board of Education materials selection policies and procedures, and the use of the materials in, and its relevance to, the curriculum. Upon completion of this conference one of the following options should be exercised:
A. The complainant and teacher, through their discussion, informally solved the problem. The teacher should document this and give to the building principal.
B. The problem is not resolved. Depending on the timeliness of the objection, the complainant may be offered an alternative source or a substituted activity. The teacher and complainant should file the Request for Substitution of Instructional Material (Form A) with the building principal and the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum.
C. The complainant decides the material should be reconsidered for use in the curriculum. At this point the complainant should be handed a Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Material form (Form B). The complainant should complete the form and leave it with the building principal.
2. The building principal will forward the request to the superintendent. The Superintendent will contact the complainant to discuss the issue and, if there is no resolution, the superintendent will convene a Material Review Committee.
3. The Material Review Committee will be composed of two parents, one administrator, one teacher, one media specialist and one student. The Material Review Committee shall function at the call of the superintendent upon receipt of a Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Material. The Material Review Committee shall proceed to study thoroughly the challenged material in light of the specific objections listed in the Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Material; relevant aspects of school district philosophy, laws, rules or regulations; relevant board materials selection policies and procedures; the use of the materials in the curriculum; and professional reviews of the material. The committee shall weigh values and faults and form opinions based on the material as a whole rather than passages or sections taken out of context. The review of the challenged material shall be treated objectively and as an important matter. An opportunity for the person challenging the material to meet with the committee to share his/her opinion shall be provided. A similar opportunity shall be provided for the staff member(s) who selected the challenged material. The major criterion for the final decision is the appropriateness of the material for its intended educational use. After this review, the Material Review Committee will make a written recommendation regarding the challenged material to the superintendent.
4. The superintendent will receive the Material Review Committee recommendation, review the matter and decide the issue.
5. The superintendent will inform the complainant of the decision reached in writing.
6. If the complainant wishes to appeal the decision, they would need to make this request by letter to the superintendent within ten days. The reconsideration request would then be added to the next Board of Education meeting agenda.
7. The decision of the Board of Education would be final.
Approved: November 10, 1997
Revised: August 14, 2006